Intermittent fasting for weight loss has become a diet that many people embrace. This type of fasting is defined as having established hours when you eat and when you fast. Weight loss is just one of the benefits fasting provides.
Intermittent fasting has been the one and only diet that has worked for me long-term. As a female with little time left in my day for hours of exercise each week, this simple diet has been a blessing.
Part of the reason fasting has worked for me is because it fits into my busy lifestyle so easily. I’ve never been much of a breakfast person, so it was not a big deal to skip breakfast for the 16/8 fasting method I chose.
When you think about the term “fasting,” you imagine going days without food and suffering terribly. Thank goodness that is not the way you have to fast. There are a number of options to consider.
I reviewed all of them before deciding what would work best for me, based on my schedule and preferences. There is an intermittent fasting method that will work for almost anybody who truly wants to lose weight.
Here’s how intermittent fasting can transform your life:
Different Fasting Options Available
Healthline defines the three most popular intermittent fasting options as the 16/8 method, Eat-Stop-Eat and the 5:2 Diet. The 16/8 method is the easiest for me personally. This fasting plan involves skipping breakfast and choosing the eight-hour period of time you want to eat. A popular choice is eating between noon and 8pm.
Eat-Stop-Eat is another fasting schedule worth considering. You incorporate two 24-hour fasts into your week. It may sound difficult, but when you consider that you sleep through eight hours of that time, it is not that hard. Many dieters decide to go from dinner one day and fast until dinner the next day to get their two 24-hour fasting days worked into their week.
The 5:2 Diet is more of a calorie restriction fasting method. The way it works is that you eat a restricted diet of 500 to 600 calories on two days of the week. The other five days of the week you eat your regular number of calories.
Fasting as a Weight Loss Diet Strategy
Harvard reports that a review of 40 studies showed intermittent fasting to be a successful weight loss strategy. Dieters who actively participate in this form of fasting can expect to lose from seven to eleven pounds in about 10 weeks.
One of the most exciting discoveries related to intermittent fasting is that it appears to increase the body’s ability to utilize insulin. This is excellent news for people who worry about developing diabetes.
Scientific American published promising data found in a study conducted at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies where mice ate fatty foods for eight hours a day, then fasted the rest of the day without gaining weight or becoming obese as a result. Their insulin levels remained stable.
The Many Health Advantages of Fasting
While intermittent fasting for weight loss provides an excellent reason to give this diet a try, there are other health benefits associated with fasting. As a pre-diabetic person with an undeniable family history of diabetes, I have worried about developing diabetes. My fasting diet has improved my insulin levels to the point where I am no longer considered pre-diabetic.
As if that is not enough good news, studies have also linked intermittent fasting with living a longer life and staying healthy longer. Fasting is believed to decrease incidences of cancer, Alzheimer’s and inflammation. This lifestyle is also touted as a way to improve blood pressure and heart rate.
If you’re like me, you have tried many diets and failed. The disappointment of a failed diet impacts you both mentally and physically. Fasting has provided me with a lifestyle change that has improved my life dramatically.
When you finally lose the weight without worrying about regaining it, you will feel much better. I love to shop for clothes now knowing I will not be growing out of them in the future. Plus, I know this lifestyle shift has improved my health in every way possible. Nothing feels as good as doing something for yourself that is good for your health and your self-esteem.